1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Virginia Tech 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 3 7 3 FSU 2 0 3 2 1 0 X 8 6 1
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Senior Jessie Warren continued to climb up the NCAA record books on Saturday as No. 15 Florida State (20-6, 2-0 ACC) posted an 8-3 victory over Virginia Tech (11-14, 1-4 ACC) at JoAnne Graf Field.
The third baseman hit a two-run home run in the third inning and finished with three RBI on the afternoon. The home run was the 71st of her career, moving her into a tie for 18th in NCAA history with five other players, including UCF’s Stephanie Best and Florida’s Lauren Haeger for the most home runs hit by a player from the state of Florida. The three RBI increased her career total to 237, which ranks 25th in NCAA softball history.
Saturday’s game was also part of Alumni Weekend, which honored the storied past of Florida State softball. The Seminoles also announced that, beginning in 2019, the first home tournament every season will be named the “JoAnne Graf Classic”, in honor of the NFCA Hall of Fame coach that won 1,437 games in her career, including 10 ACC titles, seven WCWS appearances and AIAW National Championships in 1981 and 1982.
“You are talking about a legend, not just at Florida State, but in the entire game of softball with how she has grown the game around the country,” said FSU head coach Lonni Alameda. “So many teams have come down to play in Tallahassee over the years because of the relationship they had with her. So it was a no-brainer to name the tournament after her because of who she is and the program she helped create. To be able to honor her and announce this on Alumni weekend with so many of her former players here to share in it was special.
“Virginia Tech had good numbers coming in with their pitching and we knew we’d have a challenge with the lefty, but it was great to see the kids work adjustments through the game. It was good to get the win today, as the goal is to win every series, but it comes from having a gameplan in each and every day. So we’ll need to stay focused to come out and finish it tomorrow.”
Florida State got on the board quickly as Carsyn Gordon hit a one-out triple to right in the bottom of the first. Sydney Sherrill was hit by a pitch a batter later and Warren opened the scoring with an RBI groundout to second base. A pair of wild pitches from VT starter Jordan Dail scored Sherrill to make it 2-0 FSU after the first inning.
Virginia Tech’s Carrie Eberle led off the top of the second with a home run to left center to cut the Seminole lead to 2-1.
Florida State bounced back with three runs in the third inning, all with two outs. Sherrill drew a walk, stole second base and scored on Warren’s home run to right center. Cassidy Davis followed with a solo home run of her own for a 5-1 advantage.
The Noles scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning, as Dani Morgan led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a RBI double to center by Elizabeth Mason. Mason stole third base and there was no one at the base to receive the throw and she easily scored as the ball sailed into left field.
Florida State made it 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Davis ended up on second after the VT left fielder dropped a fly out to the warning track. She was pinch-run for by Korina Rosario, who easily scored on a single through the left side by Anna Shelnutt.
Meghan King (9-3) was consistent in the circle for the Noles, giving up just four hits, one run, one walk with seven strikeouts before being replaced by Davis for the Virginia Tech seventh.
The Hokies got a pair of singles with one out and a two-run double from Hannah Jones made it an 8-3 game. Davis got the final two hitters to ground out to close out the win.
The Seminoles and Hokies will play the final game of the series on Sunday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. The game time has moved up from the original 12:00 p.m. start time due to rain in the forecast. Links for live stats and FSU Softball Radio will be available on the softball schedule page of Seminoles.com.
Admission is free for all regular season home games at JoAnne Graf Field, with reserved premium seating behind home plate available through the Seminole Boosters. For more information on the premium seating, contact Alex Douglas at email@example.com.
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